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The Moore Precision Index Center -- A Journey

IHateMayonnaise

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Location
Albuquerque
Here beginneth the tale of the Moore Precision Index Center.

Foundations of Mechanical Accuracy by Wayne Moore occupies an esteemed position on my bookshelf. While an engineer at work, at home I would consider machining and metrology a mere hobby, in the sense that it is strictly a not-for-profit enterprise and its sole purpose is to bring me joy (having said this, I do have a CNC mill and a Hardinge HLV-H, so I'm not entirely un-initiated). I've longed to own a piece of Moore technology from that bygone era of robust mechanical technology of exceptional accuracy, and I've had my eyes out for a rotary table in good condition. While scouting a local auction website, I spotted a Precision Moore Index Center, which I don't specifically recall noting from Foundations, but after looking it is shown and described on two pages.

Of course, I had to buy it, and so I did, sight-unseen. I set my maximum bid at $1,000, but it wasn't long before I went toe-to-toe with another furious bidder, and after the bidding war was over, I had spent nearly $3,000 with fees and taxes. I was overwhelmed with excitement mixed with worry, and that night I slept little, grasping at that number I was obligated to pay, not knowing if it worked, had been dropped, was seized beyond hope. No, my wife doesn't know how much I spent, but she is cognizant that I do, for the most part, make sound investments in such endeavors.

I picked up the apparatus the day before yesterday, paid in cash, and plopped it on my dining room table. Upon close inspection, and after comparing with the product brochure that I found on this forum, I declared that the unit was complete, and even included the original blank index disk. The spindle would not rotate, and it quickly became apparent that the reason was that the index plug was seized in the carbide bushing, and was unable to be moved by my hands. Worry, dread, etcetera. Not wanting to "get myself into trouble," I slept on it (barely). The following day (yesterday), we had some friends visiting from out of town, and after work we met at my place for drinks. I moved the gadget aside, declaring to my second half that it too heavy to bring down to my shop two floors below (I lied). I kept it in eyeshot of our dining room table, so I could try to unravel the conundrum by careful contemplation and resolute determination. Not fifteen minutes went by, upon which time I decided that the only path forward was to remove the rear plate, and push the index plug through from the other side. There were, after all, 4 quite conspicuous 1/4-20 SHCS's protruding from the retention plate, and I reasoned that by design, the index plate is switchable, and performing this task most likely wouldn't expose the super high-precision bearings to contamination. I couldn't wait, I had to perform t5he operation then and there.

Luckily, my pals know the truth, in that I am relentlessly restless and can't sit still without doing something. As such, they appeared rather unsurprised when I plopped down on the floor and began the task at hand. Four screws removed, and I couldn't budge the retaining plate. Refusing to use anything more than my hands as leverage, I looked for other means. I started removing anything I could: the draw bar, the arc limiting stops, the mysterious thumbscrew on the front, to no avail. Grunting didn't even help. I started to remove the zero corrector at the top, but I stopped when I wondered how it worked and what it actuated to correct for zero. I then noticed that the 4 screws I removed earlier were in slots, not holes. Huzzah! The entire back plate must be designed to shift around the central axis in order to correct for zero offsets. But whether the tiny screws and bracket be able to budge the seized plate was the million dollar question. Without other options, I tried. It shifted, a lot easier than I expected. I offset the plate to the maximum in the negative, then the positive, then the negative. Each iteration became easier, and after this effect had saturated, I tried to pull the plate off once again. There was movement, albeit very small. Grunting engaged, my friends stopped mid-conversation to ponder my actions and perhaps their life choices in remaining friends with this humble distracted mess of a man-boy. Finally, there was success -- the plate slipped off, and I found access to the index plug from the other side. Grabbing my lightest, smallest, most toy-like soft mallet, I gently tapped at the index plug from the other side, in myriad careful, light taps until it was flush with the inner wall of the retention plate. I then attempted to pull the plug from the proper side -- nothing. With all my might, I attempted to rotate the finely knurled dial, and in much the same way as before, smaller movements became medium movements, and finally, with a rotating-pulling action, and grunts which transitioning to something more akin to muffled screams, it released. My wife rolled her eyes and sighed.

Nothing was damaged during this process, and nothing was seized from rust/gunk. The tolerance for the plug was, to put it mildly, tight, and it didn't take more than a thin film remaining stagnant to seize up. The interior of the head was exactly perfectly pristine. Reassembly went smoothly, and then I tried to turn the spindle. It was stiff, and every 5 or 10 degrees I could feel a bump. I briefly panicked, but held it together. I rotated some more, and the intensity dropped. Ten or so full rotations later, it was smooth as silk -- the grease was stagnant, but after some exercise it appeared to essentially return to its original consistency.

I grabbed my favorite 0.00005" BesTest indicator and my Nova indicator holder to measure the TIR of the spindle taper. No movement, zero, from a full rotation. The TIR is spec'd at a mere 0.000015", aka 15 millionths, aka 381 nanometers, aka the wavelength of deep violet at the edge of the visual spectrum. A sigh of relief emanated from my earthly presence, and at that moment I finally sat down, undestracted, and shared drinks with friends. I slept like a baby last night.

Pictures @ Google Drive

Colorful language aside, the unit does appear to be in very good condition. There are some bits of paint missing, but the knurls, dials, and movements all appear in fantastic order. There is remarkably little information specific to this apparatus on the internet. The only info I can find is the product brochure and the aforementioned pages from Foundations. I reached out to Moore to request information, and haven't heard back yet. The only identifying information is stamped on the end of the bed, "115," which I assume is the production number. Anybody have any information, experience, anecdotes, etc? I'm a lot more interested in the history of the device, than in actual operation because I believe it's pretty straightforward in this respect.

Cheers,
IHateMayonnaise
 

gbent

Diamond
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Location
Kansas
In this world of 6 and 7 digit NFT and other conspicuously overpriced useless junk, I'd say you bought a bargain.
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
You know...I don't hate mayonnaise...but I don't like it much either. I do hate onions and cilantro and black licorice. Food for thought...
 

IHateMayonnaise

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Location
Albuquerque
Bumping this to the top, in case a different crowd sees this and has any insight to this apparatus.

Also: I added some additional photos to my photo dump folder on google drive.
 

IHateMayonnaise

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Location
Albuquerque
A number of the parts have the number "5" stamped on them, but there is also a large "130" engraved at the end of the bed. Your guess is as good as mine in regards to what means what!
 

Yankee Metallic

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
Elk City, Idaho USA
Thanks for bumping this otherwise I might have missed it.
It looks to be a tremendously accurate piece of work.
I played with a Leitz optical indexer on an occasion and it was the same way. As much as I wanted it though, my equipment wasn't accurate enough to compliment it's potential.
 








 
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